WHEREAS, El Nino was predicted to impact the Federated States of Micronesia this year; and
WHEREAS, the nation has been experiencing extremely and unusually low levels of precipitation and it is anticipated that this condition will continue in the coming few months; and
WHEREAS, the impacts of lack of rain is causing rain catchment and rivers systems to run dry, and for the inhabitants specially in the Outer Islands who are dependent on these systems, the threat of sustained decrease in water supply is causing tremendous impact upon sanitation and public health.
WHEREAS, the forecast of rainfall across FSM is already showing that the rainfall level will continue to decrease. The government must act swiftly and immediately in order to prevent any further devastation upon people, livestock, crops, and properties.
NOW THEREFORE, by authority vested in me pursuant to the Constitution and the Laws of the Federated States of Micronesia, including in particular Article X Section 9 of the FSM Constitution, 41 F.S.M.C. 705, et seq., and 55 F.S.M.C. 610 et seq., I hereby declare and direct as follows:
The Government hereby declares a national emergency; as such, the resources of the National Government are committed to supplement the available resources using foreign assistance and then such domestic resources as are needed, subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
The National Emergency Task Force (the "Task Force") is immediately constituted to take immediate steps and to act as required under the emergency and shall systematically develop a plan to alleviate or mitigate the adverse effects of the emergency, determine the most effective manner in addressing the emergency situation given the limited available resources of the National Government, and take such immediate steps to support relief efforts and citizens severely impacted by the emergency.
The Task Force shall be headed by the Director of the Office of Environment and Emergency Management (OEEM), and assisted by all the Cabinet Members in the Executive Branch. The Task Force is mandated to implement such immediate measures as are necessary to contain the damage caused by the persistent draught and closely monitor the vulnerable population especially in the outer islands.
The Disaster Relief Fund under Chapter 6 Title 55 of the FSM Code, the Disaster Assistance Emergency Fund in accordance with the Amended Compact, and other emergency-related funds available are activated to be used to assist, and supplement National and State relief efforts.
The competitive bidding required in the Financial Management Act and Regulation, to the extent otherwise applicable to any government procurement, and the import tax for purchases and donations in connection with the declared emergency, are hereby waived.
The Task Force is mandated to coordinate with State authorities in implementing any emergency response and keep the President timely informed of any progress or development relating thereto.
In accordance with the emergency declaration, the amount of $200,000 is hereby decreed into the Disaster Relief Fund from the following appropriated funds in the current fiscal year (Public Law No. 19-32, as amended by Public Law No. 19-61):
- $25,000 from the FSM-China Diplomatic Relations, Sec. 8(2)(h)
- $50,000 from the ACP, Sec. 8(9)(m)
- $25,000 from the Medical Specialized Team, Sec. 9(9)(c)
- $30,000 from the COM-FSM unpaid tuition, Sec. 9
- $20,000 from the Crans Montana Forum in Morocco, Sec.9(9)(s)
- $50,000 from the Wilshire Investment Conference & meetings with constituents in the US, Sec. 9(9)(t)
SO DECLARED AND DECREED on this 18th day of February 2016.
Peter M. Christian